Alonso: AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Changes the Marvel Universe

 

Axel Alonso was announced as Marvel editor-in-chief in January 2011, making current 12-part series Avengers vs. X-Men the first "event" fully developed during his time on the job.

As such, it's clearly a story he's taking great pride in, from both a commercial and artistic standpoint. In an interview with Newsarama, Alonso said it's "on track to the biggest event ever," while praising the collaboration between the book's five writers — Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction and Jonathan Hickman — who are telling the tale along with artists John Romita Jr., Olivier Coipel and Adam Kubert.

Alonso, who also recently talked to us about upcoming miniseries Spider-Men, revealed to us that the Marvel Universe "is changed" by Avengers vs. X-Men — though not rebooted or retconned. With Avengers vs. X-Men #4 in stores this week (preview here), read on for more from Alonso.

Newsarama: Axel, you've mentioned how important Avengers vs. X-Men has been for you. With the series on top of the sales chart again in April, how pleased have you been with the reception thus far?

 

Axel Alonso: I couldn't be happier. We are on track to be the biggest event ever.

Nrama: Bigger than Civil War?



Alonso: Yeah. We're at a fourth printing now of issue #1. Tom [Brevoort] and I were joking about how the sales are great, people are talking, and the only naysaying we're hearing is, "Oh my god, it's going to be another nine issues of them running around the world fighting." They have no idea what's in store for them. And I love it! The thing is, we've got three acts, and there really are some massive, game-changing moments that equally affect the Avengers and the X-Men, or have great effect on either team, that no one is going to see coming, that are going to be the water-cooler talk for the next few months.

I'm very proud of my editors, in particular Tom [Brevoort]. There's no one in comic books who is better at standing in the middle of a battlefield with bullets flying and calmly giving orders and making sure that everybody is where they needs to be to win the battle, and Tom is right in the middle of this thing, controlling it beautifully.

 

With AvX — the momentum of the book, it coming out every couple of weeks, so you don't have to wait too long, perfectly supplemented by VS. — I'm very happy with the way this rolled out. I'm especially proud of the brotherhood that was forged among the creators, the five writers who got into this knowing that five fingers make a fist.  We said, "We're going into this like a team. Everybody's ideas are going to count, and there will be times, guys, when you walk away from a story session feeling like, 'Well, I would have done it another way!' Just count on it. But what we're going to do is trust each other and respect each other that we're going to get the best story here." And we did.

Nrama: And with a big moment said to be happening at the end of each act break, one should be coming soon, with issue #4 out this week.



Alonso: The real act break for this is the end of issue #5. Issue #4 ends with an "oh sh*t" moment, just to make a distinction — issue #5 is the act break. After issue #5, people are going to be talking, and thus begins the second act, and where we're headed, and where we're willing to go with the subject matter.

Nrama: Right around the same time AvX will be wrapping up, a few long-term runs are ending at Marvel, with Brian Michael Bendis leaving the Avengers books and Jonathan Hickman leaving Fantastic Four. Is this more of a scheduling coincidence, or a sign of a larger, coordinated effort?

 

Alonso: We have some moves planned. The Marvel Universe is changed by AvX. It is not a reboot or a retcon. It is the Marvel Universe that you grew up in. But this story in many ways sort of serves as an endcap to a decade's worth of stories that we've been telling, and I think it begins a great first chapter for the next decade's worth of stories we're going to tell.

I'm very excited about what we're doing. We had a fantastic summit. Some long-running creative shifts are occurring — you've heard about Brian, for instance; there may be others. We're very excited about where we're headed.

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